Sunday, 28 September 2014

How the Media Portrays Women and Men According to Gender Roles


So you may have read in my last post that I picked a seriously difficult topic to do speeches on in public speaking and I've a ninety second one to do on Tuesday. Hopefully this post will be a way of brainstorming and hopefully this post may even slightly change your opinion on what I'm about to write about. 

(If it doesn't it's ok !)

feminism
ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m/
noun
  1. the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
    synonyms:the women's movement, the feminist movement, women's liberation,female emancipation, women's rights
  2. gender equality
    Web definitions
    1. Gender equality, also known as sex equality or sexual equality or equality of the genders, implies that men and women should receive equal treatment, unless there is a sound biological reason for different treatment. 

When I was younger I'd think of feminists as lesbians, shaved heads, hates men, that kind of stereotype. But I was wrong. A feminist can be anyone and feminism and gender equality concerns both genders in every culture across the world. I identify as a feminist and I have opinions on gender equality, sexual harassment, women's rights and many other issues which I'm not afraid to talk about here on my blog. This post is only going to focus on gender stereotypes but in future, I'd hope to write about other issues too. 


Back in August, Beyoncé performed at the VMA's with the big dirty word displayed in lights on the backdrop behind her. I was really inspired to write a post on how the media portrays and therefore influences both women and men and our opinions on gender equality, stereotypes and of course feminism. I never got around to write this post for several reasons - the biggest factor being that I could receive awful comments or turn people off my blog so I held off but after events over the past week, I don't want to hold myself back from expressing my opinions online so here we go ! 

Like I said, the media has a huge influence on us. 
This past week gender equality and feminism has been a popular topic on social media after Sam Pepper scandal - which continues I must add and Emma Watson's speech on the stigma around the dirty f word and her role in the #HeForShe campaign - a campaign which celebrities and well known social media stars are now showing support for. Because of this, people are asking themselves what their opinions on these issues are - questions they've never even asked before and issues they've never thought to have mattered.

But the media can be nasty and feeds information into our brains which takes over and therefore changes society's way of thinking. Because of this, society makes decisions on how we should dress, behave and live from birth. They make these decisions based on all kinds of things and one of them is our gender and it is something that I strongly feel is wrong because we end up with three situations. 

Situation one is when the media creates images of how our bodies should look and this is an issue which affects both women and men. The media sends women quite confusing messages on how their body should look which is ironic considering that it's said that women themselves can be quite confusing. One day we're told that we must be 'super skinny' and have flat tummies with gorgeous long legs because if we don't we're fat , but the day after we're being told to 'embrace our curves' along with our boobs and bums because men don't like twigs. I feel that the media sending men negative messages on how their bodies should look is an issue that is ignored too often. They tell men that they all must have a six pack, abs, the list goes on and they shame men who are 'scrawny' and basically have no visible muscle. Tumblr is a prime example of how the media influences our opinions on how our bodies should look. Search any kind of tag and photos of long-legged girls with thigh gaps and big boobs or tall guys with perfect bone structure, muscles and the 'v muscle' will show up right in front of your eyes. For a lot of people, these body types are unattainable and so the media's idea of the 'perfect body' causes us to not only feel awful about our own bodies but also to have expectations of other's bodies - for example, a lot of young girls would expect their male peers to have a full six pack and a lot of young boys would expect their female peers to have big boobs. These presumptions exist even without the media's presence - the messages just worsens them. 

Situation two is how celebrities are judged, characters are created and music lyrics are written based on gender. Women tend to be more objectified than stereotyped but men are almost always stereotyped more than they are objectified. Women are constantly objectified in the media. 2014 has literally been the year of the butt in terms of pop music. I can't stand the fact that half the songs played on the radio either objectify or shame women's bodies so here's when I insert a few.

"You know what to do with that big fat butt ... Wiggle wiggle wiggle" - Jason Derulo 
"Go ahead and tell them skinny b*tches that ... She says 'boys like a little more booty to hold at night'" - Meghan Trainor 
"I know you want it. I know you want it." - Robin Thicke 
"I said, where my fat a** big b*tches in the club? F*ck those skinny b*tches, f**k those skinny b*tches in the club" - Nicki Minaj 

These songs are catchy ! The beat is catchy, the lyrics are catchy and therefore we hum them and catch on to the lyrics, singing them aloud on the go. Lyrics that are objectifying women, lyrics that are telling men that they're entitled to a woman's body and lyrics that are telling men that a woman needs a big butt to be attractive. Radios play these songs over and over again and it makes me sick to hear the lyrics blaring out and being normalised. The way women are objectified through music videos makes me even sicker. I am all for dressing how you like but women are clearly half dressed and semi naked in these videos to sell sex. That's all they're there for - to symbolise sex. This again sends messages to men and influential young boys that women's bodies equals sex and that they are entitled to a woman's body for their pleasure and entertainment.

The media influences how we behave towards one another.

The film industry is notorious for stereotyping and Disney is the worst for stereotyping gender roles. Frozen is the first film not to stereotype the female lead as helpless and reliant on men to save them. The portrayal of men in films is something which is definitely not spoken about enough. Again, Disney is notorious for this and children watching these movies are subconsciously developing ideas of how they should look and act according to their gender. The male lead of these films are stereotyped as 'macho' and tough displayed only strong heroic emotions. This tells young boys that they must always be stronger and more heroic than his female peers and aren't as capable of doing domestic jobs or being as loving as his female peers. Films in general rarely portray men as being emotional and when they do, it is usually the weak or homosexual character who displays these emotions. This is wrong on so many levels and has a lot to account for why men are often afraid to display and speak about their emotions. 

The more I research gender stereotyping for this post and the more I write this post, I keep getting angrier and angrier at the situation. All forms of media including newspapers, films, music and micro-blogging websites are inflicting gender stereotypes on us from a very young age. They're promoting the idea that this is okay and it's not okay. 

I thought I should end my post with this ... 

"Emma Watson delivers a speech to the UN on the importance of not demeaning women so the Daily Mail reviews her outfit" 

Grace x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

TY Thursdays #3 : Drama, Ploughing & Bus Journeys


Today we went to the ploughing match and as expected, 8.45am sharp turned into 8.50am and that turned into 8.55am. I have mixed opinions on the entire day. Every time we'd turn around a corner I'd suggest that maybe we turned back because that was all farmer stuff to which my friend would tell me something along the lines of this being a farming event so there'd be farmer stuff everywhere. I eventually copped on and worked out that it wasn't really my thing. I couldn't find any of the free chips everyone gushes about so I reluctantly bought a portion which cost €3 - they were sort of worth it in the end besides the idiots (who were surprisingly not from school.) nearby throwing chips at us. Shout out to you lot, I hope a heifer chewed off her rope and knocked you over. Good things that happened included the free yummy jelly beans which looked and tasted like glitter and the pretty beads and craft supplies at stalls which were cute to photograph but not to buy. 

Four of us walked back fairly early (after selfies and the likes.) and we missed the tractor and trailer which brings people to and from buses by seconds so by the time it came around next time, a lot of others from our year were also heading back. One of my friends decided that a whole load of us should get in a group photo (I would insert it here but I've no access to it.) and even more photos so when were told to get on the buses I was just like yes please I need to go for a nap. But I didn't because for the first few minutes it was the quietest bus I've ever been on and then before I could even finish saying "it's awful quiet" it became the rowdiest bus I've been on. 

I personally think the response to "I say *can't understand your yelling*, you say *still can't understand your yelling*" being "I say *shut* you say *up*" was the funniest part of the day. Or at least the funniest part of the bus journey. The fact that half the bus were wrecked from the day and the other half were clearly on an adrenaline rush didn't exactly mix well but I found the journey quite an amusing end to the day anyway. 


Back to classes, I really enjoyed modules this week - especially Drama and Public Speaking. Every group performed their elevator scene in drama and we had very diverse characters which made seriously chaotic and funny to do - a snobby guy who didn't really have much respect for anyone else (these photos are his.), a paranoid and claustrophobic girl who's worst nightmares basically came through, two screaming teenagers who only cared around getting their nails done (I played one.), a chain smoker who didn't give a monkey until she uttered the words "where's me fags" and two extremely laid back workers who turned their attention to football and teddy bears. If this is relevant at all, I should add that my character runs back in to the lift to get her phone after we're all let out. And then she dies.

Public speaking was interesting to say the least. Our assignment was to write a thirty second speech which turned out to be a thirty second introduction to our speeches and I decided I should do my speech about feminism and gender equality. Because that would not cause a stir in the class at all, god no. So somehow I came up with an introduction which I naively didn't think would cause everyone in the class to look at me as if I had two heads. And they did. So the people I presumed wouldn't like it because they didn't like feminism of course didn't like it and when people were asked to rate it I got pretty low scores compared to others to put it nicely but you're entitled to your opinion so it didn't exactly bother me. And then I was looked at by a few of my lovely classmates as if I was speaking about constipation and diarrhoea which prompted me to develop a skill in keeping a straight face. I did find the overall experience both hilarious and frustrating and if any of my classmates read this - do look forward to my ninety second speech next week. I, myself, do look forward to seeing the faces you make.

 Tomorrow is European Day of Languages so all the Transition Years are going to the cinema to watch a film in the language they learn ! Besides being excited to miss Maths again (not so much Irish and Religion.) the French film sounds seriously good so I'm looking forward to that !

Grace 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Feather

  Tesco jumper | Dunnes blouse | Penneys skirt 


If you aren't following me on my social media accounts ("god people what are you doing with your life" ?) it will come news to you that yesterday afternoon when I got into car following an awful day and week at school, mam starts scrolling down a web page entitled 'Best Youth Blog Finalists 2014' on her phone and I start screaming. I am not one to scream when excited or overwhelmed especially when there are people from school walking by - either home or to a bus stop - and probably think you're deranged but I can't believe I'm typing this - DAINTY SPRINKLES HAS MADE THE BLOG AWARDS BEST YOUTH BLOG FINALIST ! I would generally apologise for the 'cap locks' but this is crazy and it doesn't feel one bit real. I am not one to blog all year round with awards in mind but since I first heard of the Blog Awards Ireland, it has always been my dream to make the finalist for best youth blog and this year I was surprised to make the shortlist since my blog's content been lagging quite a bit but to make the finalist ? That is crazy. Thank you so much to the judges of this category for seeing something in Dainty Sprinkles and congrats as always to those who made the finalists too !

So I was going shopping for the Galway trip among other necessities yet I still insisted on wearing a heap of layers. You are probably going to be seeing a lot of blouse based outfits here over the next few weeks because the collars seem to become my life during the winter and the likes so if you haven't seen that over the past two winters here (This has been going TWO winters ? Sorry, but what ?) prepare yourself, I swear it's not repetitive ! In other news, today when on the hunt for hoodies and tracksuits basically clothes I don't own for Galway (don't live in pretty skirts shorts and jumpers like me people.) I realised why everyone's lives revolve around hoodies because I found the comfiest one ever in New Look so that's basically going to be my new best friend. 

I can't think of anything else so I'll shut up now and talk to you soon,

Grace x

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Aware's #BeattheBlues Campaign

Today I'm about talking about Aware, an Irish organisation who provide services to people affected by mental health. They do amazing work such as providing support to sufferers of depression and supporting the research of these kind of issues. This post is specifically going to be about the work they do with young people - Over the past two years Aware have been brought their Beat the Blues programme - a free positive mental health campaign - to more than 67,000 young people between the ages of 15-18 all over Ireland. This is an eighty minute programme which explains the importance of mental health, how to deal with it and where you can get help. 

This is such an important programme for so many different reasons and it is needed. According to Aware.ie, up to 10% of teenagers are affected by depression at any one time and almost 75% of serious mental health cases first emerge between the ages of fifteen and twenty five. Those figures are startling enough but what is even more alarming is the stigma that still exists. People are hesitant to engage in a conversation about mental health openly and when they do it often ends up creating quite an awkward atmosphere. But without these issues being discussed how are teens supposed to learn about the importance of their mental health and how to recognise they're not okay and more importantly, who are teens supposed to turn to when are depressed but are hesitant to after past discussions on the topic ?

One step at a time, programmes like Beat The Blues are bringing us closer to dissolving the stigma and feeling comfortable enough to openly speak to each other about our mental health like we do about our physical health. It's teaching us teens the importance of a positive mental health and getting support. It is nothing to be ashamed of and nobody suffering from any form of mental illness should ever have to deal with it alone. 

This week, the sixth years in school attended the programme and from what I've heard it was extremely helpful especially for dealing with exam stress. You can read more about the #BeattheBlues campaign here and if you are feeling depressed, Aware have a brilliant page about depression and young people here

Please remember that you are never alone and it is always ok to ask for help. 

Grace x 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Autumn Playlist 2014


Today's post is something I haven't tried before but we're going to give it a go anyway and it's very short and sweet if I may warn you in advance ! I've found a lot of new music through SoundCloud and the likes lately so I thought I'd show you my Autumn Playlist.

First are New Politics, a Danish dance-rock band and two of their songs Everywhere I Go (Kings and Queens.) and Harlem. Harlem is their most popular song and the style the instruments play in reminds me a bit of American Authors but Everywhere I Go is my favourite ! It's so upbeat and the lyrics are brilliant - "This one's for everyone that said I'm nothing, This one's for my friends that don't give a ---

Next up are AJR with I'm Ready ! I feel like some kind of hipster now that my favourite radio station is beginning to play this magnificent song as I've been listening to them since I discovered them through songs in the background of YouTube videos over summer ! The song sounds so pumped and hyper and their style of music is really different, I can't put my finger on it. I just keep humming the whole time "I won't forget you, but I may forget your name" Story of my life basically. And apparently the whole "I'm Ready" bit at the start of the choruses is Spongebob !

Next song is Stigma ft Paloma Faith's Changing ! I've been hearing this on the radio since for about a week now so by now I am completely in love with it ! Not only is Paloma Faith one of my favourite singers, Stigma always make brilliant songs and I personally think that this is better than Nobody to Love. I have some kind of feeling that it's going to be a huge song this Autumn !

A brief one to mention is Next Year by Two Door Cinema Club ! I was obsessed with it towards the end of Second Year - two years ago, which is scary to say. It was my absolute favourite song back then and TDCC were my favourite band so when I heard it playing in Boots last Wednesday you can guess that I was an emotional mess listening to it for the rest of the week. I blame it on the word which makes me permanently cringe - nostalgia. The music video which is linked at the beginning of this paragraph is brilliant too so you should check that out !

My last song is another one I found on SoundCloud - Seasons of B-Sides by Satellite Stories who are Finnish (Scandinavians basically make the best music.) and this song is a really uplifting one and releases so many laid vibes. It's my favourite song at the moment and they really reminds me of The Door Cinema Club, I've listened to lots of their music but I haven't found one I love as much as this yet but I will tell you if I do ! 

One last thing I should add is that I recently found the song I was obsessed with when I was in senior infants ! I had never found the name of the song nor who sang it and I didn't even know any of the lyrics so obviously when I was looking up Green Day half for my music project, half for my ears the other night and found the song I loved was "Holiday" I silently squealed. It's ironic that I find it now almost ten years later after it took so long.
Six year old Grace had A* music taste. 

Grace x 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Layer of Typical

Penneys dress (!) | New Look skirt | Dunnes denim jacket | Forever 21 necklace | Tesco boots

I feel like a proper fashion blogger in this outfit. Except I'm annoyed now because you know when you feel like "your outfit is on point" as the hipsters would say it or basically when you actually feel your outfit is half decent but you spend the whole day at home ? Today was one of those days. The story this grey top over above the skirt is that it's actually a high-low dress ! I've only worn it a few times since it is so short in the front and then today all my tights were in the wash so to avoid an existential crisis I wore a black skirt over it even though you can still see the back which is slightly odd but I think it still works ! And I'm back into my denim jacket again which adds to the whole laid-back-ness of the grey and now I've after realised this is another monochrome outfit. Well at least you didn't say me yesterday evening - all black, unintentionally because I didn't know what else to wear.

Thanks a million for the lovely comments on my last post and all the comments lately in general ! I've also became obsessed with rings yet again so when I was in town with my friends on Wednesday I bought a new one that I've been eyeing for ages - it's the ring on my index finger if you're wondering. Wearing practically ever ring I own (except for two over sized ones which would be too uncomfortable to write with.) to school has became an either good or bad habit and now I've became obsessed with mood rings like the one on my baby finger which I've had since I was six and I was googling them today and technically there do change depending on your emotions since they change according to body temperature and obviously whether you're stressed or calm, etc. is going to affect your body temperature and tada that's how they work and now I'm freaked out because the colour changes around the same time or situations every day.

Finally, it's five days until voting closes for Best Blog Post of the Blog Awards Ireland. I'd really appreciate a few more votes so if you could spare a minute you can give Dainty Sprinkles' post on postivity a vote here - thank you so much to everyone who's taken the time to vote !

Grace x 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

TY Thursdays #2 : Modules & Junior Cert Results !



The past four days have been quite exciting in Transition Year since not only did we begin modules, we also got back our Junior Cert results ! It all started in third class on Monday morning when word swept around quicker than a tsunami (literally.) that the first three module class lists were up so obviously when I moseyed on down to the TY noticeboard at break, it was crazily packed and the pushing and squashing could only be described as a horde of elephants so of course there were elephant noises made to accompany this - and I actually managed to keep the zoo noises in my head. When I eventually made it to the noticeboard - where it was even more packed sardine like mind you - I was delighted to have got into Drama, Public Speaking and Printmaking !  

My favourite module of the three was always going to be Drama and it was exactly what I expected ! One of the things we did in groups was getting given a name of a product and in around ten minutes  we had to come up with a name for the imaginary product and perform an 'ad' for it in front of our classmates. Our group's product was spot cream so we came up with 'Wackaspot' and an ad where there was a stereotypical scientist and two girls couldn't get rid of their spots. Ad extra cheesiness at the end with 'Thanks Wackaspot !' in a cheesy voice ! On Tuesday morning I had  Public Speaking which was far more interesting than I'd previously imagined - we learned about job interviews, what to wear to them, etc. and also how it can often start as soon as you get out of your car thanks to the interviewer looking through their window ! That afternoon I had the Printmaking module which was quite fun even though we had to move room since we eighteen of us couldn't fit in the first one, let alone twenty four. I didn't think I was going to enjoy this module but then we were told on Tuesday that we're going to be printing on a t-shirt or bag rather than just on paper which I cannot wait for.

 Yesterday was the big day that everyone was worrying about. Junior Cert results. To be quite honest I wasn't too fussed over the whole thing and all I cared about was getting the day off so I could lie in for another hour. Even when I got to the school I still wasn't nervous but very impatient since the queue was so long although it was moving much quicker than I thought ! I went outside to open my results and I thought I was going to burst out crying when I did - I was originally expecting all C's and two fails but I completely exceeded my own expectations. I opened the paper and the first thing I saw was a D in Maths and a C (WHAT !) in science. I couldn't believe it and when I saw the rest of my subjects I really didn't believe they were my results ! Me getting results like them in a state exam is been like unicorns so I believe in unicorns now. I'm still in a state of shock and I'm presuming whoever corrected my science paper is an extremely generous and patient person ... Maybe my aliens needing hearing aids answer and shaded apple on a weigh scales diagram cheered them up. All my friends did brilliantly in the exams too and I didn't see anyone looking really disappointed outside the school which is always nice to see ! 

Next week we have to play an instrument or sing in music class which I'm dreading but on the positive side, I'm looking forward to my second week of modules,

Grace. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Double Colour Graphic Eyeliner


I've lost count of the amount of times over the past month that I've said that I would do a post on colour graphic eyeliner and I finally got around to it ! Compared to previous times I've attempted filming this, I actually didn't end up accidentally dotting eye liner everywhere but my eye lid so I was literally doing very bad celebratory happy dances afterwards. 


As per usual blogspot won't let me insert the video for this look so you can click here to watch it and also read about it in the text below !

1. First I just applied some concealer on my lids and usually I'd use the Nyx Wonder Pencil except it was blunt while I was filming and as you know je suis si paressuse so I used Maybelline Fit Me concealer instead.

2. Then I put on some eye shadow and since this look is concentrated on the colourful eyeliner, I didn't want anything to distract from that so I applied the first four shades of the Catrice Nude eye shadow palette all over my lid and over my crease, etc. . I also applied the darkest shade to my lower lash line.

3. Onto the main aspect of this look - The eye liner ! I first applied a seriously thin line of black liquid eyeliner (like you can hardly see it - I wear more to school !) to my upper lash line using an Essence eyeliner pen and then for the coloured liner, you can use any kind of liner (pen, pencil, etc. .) but again I used a liquid liner in a coral shade above the original black line. It turned out thicker than usual but thankfully not to the point where it's covering the entire eye lid !

4. I then winged this out - outlining and filling in. After this, I went back to my black liner and used it to outline the wing to create more popping look. Finally, I finished both eyes off with some mascara.


So that is the finished look. Thank you so much for reading this post and I may or may not be back with another TY Thursday in two days ! In the meantime, best of luck to everyone getting back their Junior Cert results tomorrow - Lettuce hope we all get the results we're hoping for ! 

Grace x 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

I Can Try By Pretending

New Look jumper | the dress is like years old where is it even from | Tesco boots

"Not as creepy as your face". The sass is real.

This weekend I have suffered the consequences of getting up too early and getting little sleep. The consequences being sniffling and and sneezing all over the place, being stuck in bed and therefore having to bail on my friends at last minute (I am the worst for that.). I eventually dragged myself out of bed this morning to make the most of the day and somehow filmed a video plus took outfit photos and now I'm going to have to find a way to stuff fifty tissues in my skirt pocket all week. This is yet another outfit mixing monochrome with colour because this jumper is so cosy, I am fawning over it and the swirly pink pattern on the dress seemed to go with it so I was like "well that's what we're wearing this weekend". I don't know why I speak about myself in the plural form. Also, I am not climbing a tree in the fourth photo although I like to think I am so I'm carrying on my second useful catchphrase from this week. "Fake it until you make it". This involves me rambling to people in my class I've never spoken to before and pretending I don't want to run out of the room and hide in my locker. Second catchphrase has been "For *feathers* sake". First thing I say at the start of the day, last thing I say at the end of the day. It should really go on my TY hoodie at the end of the year. 

Also ! Speaking of school - TY Thursdays ! I was meaning to explain it to you in a post beforehand but then I made an impulsive decision to write the first post this week just gone so I'd have at least one example for my portfolio email ! In simpler words, we have to keep an account of our Transition Year experience - called as the 'portfolio' - in any form of media such as scrapbooks, memory boxes, blogs, videos diaries, etc. and I've decided to opt for what comes naturally to me - blogging ! So from now until May, expect a TY Thursday post either once a week or once every fortnight.

You can read about my first week here but when we're told to 'talk among ourselves' in class, I've taken to drawing eyes. Lots of them. The photo above is of most of the ones I've been drawing on one of the information sheets (minus the watermark obviously.) which are very useful when filling awkward silences because I just keep my head down and draw. They're supposed to look like the dramatic eye makeup from fashion weeks but I've mostly been told they look creepy and also that they resemble something that's either from a horror film // bright eyed. So I guess I should draw arms and legs off them to creep everyone out even more (s/o to my easily freaked out classmates. jk no.).

 In other news, I was in physio on Friday and it turns out I'm actually getting on well with the exercises and now I can stretch my leg up really high without it hurting. I actually feel like I've achieved something in life. Just in case I'm not on here before Wednesday, good look to anyone reading this who is finding out their Junior Cert results this week ! We'll all be grand because it's not the Leaving Cert and we get a day off school and don't have to wear uniform. Sorry if you're stressing out more than I am, that probably did not help. Either way I'm going to be in a pile on the floor laughing at some of my results like I told you on Thursday.

Don't forget there's still eleven days to vote for Dainty Sprinkles' post on Positivity for Best Blog Post in the Blog Awards Ireland ! You can vote once a week here and as always, thank you so so much to everyone who's supported me by voting (and thank you x10000 to everyone who's shared the link !) I appreciate it more than you'll ever imagine ! 

Grace x